UPDATE 1-Taiwan's "forex killer" central bank chief wants to retire-lawmakers

Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:42am EST

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TAIPEI Jan 31 (Reuters) - Taiwan's central bank chief Perng Fai-nan said that he wants to retire after 15 years in service, two lawmakers told the Unique TV station, as part of a cabinet reshuffle.

"The time has come....I want to retire to rest," the lawmakers, both with the Nationalist ruling party, quoted Perng as saying.

Nicknamed the "forex killer" by currency dealers, Perng is best known for his forthright style and tough stance against speculation, and keeps an iron grip on Taiwan's exchange rate with the world's fourth largest foreign exchange reserves.

Talk that Perng was about to step down has circulated among currency traders since Wednesay. His third, five-year term is due to end in February.

One possible candidate to replace him is Taiwan's premier Sean Chen, according to local media. Some market watchers think Chen's may take a less stringent stance on forex market management than Perng.

During Perng's tenure, he has been ranked one of the world's top central bankers by Global Finance magazine for eight years and nominated as Central Banker of the Year in Asia by The Banker in 2009.

A central bank official said they had no comment.

Perng has spent most of his career at the central bank, joining in 1971, and has held posts including head of the economic research department and head of the foreign exchange department.

He was deputy governor from 1994 to 1995 before leaving to chair the boards of two state-run banks.

He was called back to be governor after the death of previous incumbent Sheu Yuan-dong in a plane crash in 1998, and has been in office since. (Reporting by Jeanny Kao; Writing by Faith Hung; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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